The Challenge Finalist Is Ready for Return: ‘Legend In My Own Mind’

The Challenge: Rivals II

Getty "The Challenge: Rivals II" final episode and reunion party

Some Challenge stars that have become fan favorites over the years have only appeared on one or two Challenges and then moved on to other pursuits despite their potential to be great contestants. One of these stars is Heather Cooke, who only appeared on one season of The Challenge, Rivals II, but made an impact right away as one of the stronger females to debut on the show.

A professional soccer player, Cooke didn’t return to The Challenge and instead pursued other opportunities, although fans have regularly fantasized about having the Real World: Las Vegas star back on their screens. Cooke’s reputation is such that she was cast for The Challenge: All Stars but was unfortunately selected only as an alternate.

Cooke recently joined fellow Challenge star Wes Bergmann on an Instagram Live and spoke about her desire to return to The Challenge to compete after having gone to Argentina without getting the opportunity to make the final cast.

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She Said She Hopes She Can Return to the Show in the Future & Was ‘Bummed’ She Didn’t Make All Stars

Cooke joined Wes’ Instagram Live in April 2021 and he told her she should be on The Challenge, and Cooke replied that she was an alternate for All Stars. “I was kind of on the bottom of the totem pole being the youngest,” she said, adding that she was “bummed” she didn’t make it on the show but she couldn’t complain because she had a great time in Argentina.

Wes said after Rivals II when Cooke left the show to play soccer and got married and started a family, the show began paying more and creating more opportunities for its stars. “I think the fandom knows that you would have dominated those women the whole time,” Wes told her. Cooke agreed and said she’s watched most of the seasons: “I shoot myself in the foot like, okay, that’s all the money I could have had.”

Wes said he’d be surprised if the show doesn’t give her another shot at competing. Cooke replied, “It’s just so hard, if it wasn’t as long filming I could totally do it, but over a month is like, a lot.” She said her husband supported her going to All Stars but wasn’t thrilled about it. “I hope it keeps going and then I hope I can at least go on All Stars or something,” she said.


Cooke Participated in Only 1 ‘Challenge’ But She Made a Splash With Her Partner Cara Maria & Reached the Finals

Cooke appeared on the 2011 season of The Real World: Las Vegas, the same season as several Challenge stars including Leroy Garrett and Nany Gonzalez. The Philippine national soccer team star then joined The Challenge franchise for Rivals II, where she was paired with her Real World costar Naomi Defensor.

The partnership didn’t last long though, as Naomi left the game in the first episode because of a family emergency, and was replaced by Cooke’s new partner, Cara Maria Sorbello. The two were a physically dominant team throughout the game, winning two eliminations and one daily challenge. They made it to the final but were unable to pull out the win on the women’s side, coming in second to Emily Schromm and Paula Meronek.

The 32-year-old recently posted that she made the “top 10% for the @crossfit open,” her first competition since giving birth to her baby boy Maddox. The All Stars alternate wrote, “@challengemtv is missing out!! Guess I’m just a legend in my own mind…”

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